With 43 percent of the votes, the Information Technology (IT) industry has once again been named as the most desirable sector for a career for India's engineering graduates, according to the latest Nielsen Campus Track T-Schools study, which surveys attitudes of students towards industries and prospective employers. While IT was the most desirable industry last year, the latest result marks a 7 percent drop from 2008. Rounding out the top three most popular industries were automotive and telecom.
Management consultancies and financial services - which were once among the top choices - have declined in desirability largely due to the global economic crisis.
"The charm of the IT sector has not faded. Students prefer IT for its culture, opportunities to work with technically sound professions with cutting-edge technology, training and growth opportunities," said Vatsala Pant, Associate Director, Consumer Research at Nielsen.
Ratan Tata - chairman of the Tata conglomerate with a range of holdings - was named as the top role model by the graduates. Among the most popular companies identified by respondents as places at which they would be interested in working were Bosch, Google, Indian Oil Corporation, Microsoft India, Mahindra & Mahindra (a conglomerate involved in IT, vehicle manufacturing and other industries) and Tata Consultancy Services.
So what are the attributes of a good first employer? Companies must be technically sound, and they must offer the opportunity to work on sophisticated and state of the art technology. Grads are looking to learn on the job and want hands-on roles in projects.
As for the future, graduates named nanotechnology as the sector to watch, followed closely by IT and power generation.
The Nielsen Campus Track T-Schools study surveys the graduating classes at the top 151 engineering colleges and institutes in India and is designed to help companies develop personnel strategies to attract the best talent from engineering schools.